CBDC Gives Corporate Canada Tools to Better Reflect Country's Diversity with 2016 Diversity 50 List of Board-Ready Candidates

Diversity 50 brings critical solution to Canada's lack of board diversity and future competitiveness

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - The Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) released its 2016 Diversity 50 cohort, a list of highly-qualified and diverse candidates in search of corporate board roles, which could help Canada's largest companies source the top-level talent needed to compete globally.

Since 2012, CBDC's Diversity 50 list has led to 29 board appointments on FP500 and three Fortune 500 corporate boards by increasing the visibility of board-ready candidates from a more diverse range of backgrounds and experiences than what is traditionally sourced through a board's existing network.

"The 2016 Diversity 50 list provides a much-needed resource that highlights candidates who have the knowledge, skills and experience to lead in corporate Canada but might not have the visibility or connections to get in front of hiring committees," says Sherri Stevens, Owner and CEO of CBDC. "By giving corporate boards the tools they need to locate these successful individuals, we're allowing organizations to broaden their networks and, in the process, build a win-win situation for Canada as a whole."

Now in its fifth year, the Diversity 50 initiative addresses the "visibility barrier" faced by candidates. The 2016 cohort adds 50 board-ready candidates to the existing database of now 250 diverse individuals, which acts as a resource for directors and search firms who seek board candidates beyond their own networks.

"Inclusion has never been more important for Canada's boardrooms," says Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte Canada, a co-presenting partner of Diversity 50. "In our latest research on courage in business, we found that inclusion is a key element of courageous decision-making and action, which is critical to business success. We continue to deepen our thinking on inclusion with further research because we know it has undisputable value and importance to our economy and to Canada's future prosperity. We encourage all boards to join us in this conversation, take accountability for surrounding themselves with diverse thinkers and take a close look at the growing Diversity 50 list."

"Diversity on boards and within leadership teams is good for business and the Canadian economy. It's associated with stronger financial performance, increased innovation and higher employee satisfaction," says Victor G. Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC, another co-presenting partner. "Diversity brings broader perspectives that enable boards to make better decisions when navigating an increasingly global and complex operating environment. CIBC is pleased to support the 2016 Diversity 50 initiative as it aligns with our commitment to an inclusive culture that reflects the demographics of our clients and promotes and leverages our differences."

This year, the Diversity 50 candidates consisted of: 42 females, 8 males, 9 visible minorities, 4 Aboriginal people, 3 that identify as a person with a disability and 1 that identifies as a person from the LGBTQ Community. This year's candidates hail from Canada's largest cities, spread across six provinces: Ontario (63%), Alberta (12%), British Columbia (12%), Quebec (11%), Nova Scotia (1%) and Saskatchewan (1%).

In November 2016, the CBDC released the results of its 2016 Annual Report Card, which provides a complete view of the board composition of FP500 organizations and highlights the need for an increased focus on growing inclusion and diversity efforts.

Reflections from 2016 Diversity 50 candidates:

"I am honoured to be named to the Diversity 50 this year," says Manjit Minhas, CEO and Co-Founder, Minhas Breweries and Distillery. "I love that the Diversity 50 promotes an untapped pool of women that have immense knowledge and experiences in so many different industries. Also, the valuable success these women have built for themselves and the companies they lead is an understatement."

"I am honoured to be named to the CBDC's Diversity 50 list this year," says Ian L.T. Clarke, Chief Financial Officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "As a leader in the very diverse world of sports and entertainment and as a board member of both the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Toronto Foundation, it is crucial for organizations to have representatives from various backgrounds and genders to capture and sustain success. Diversity 50 facilitates this important connection and builds the foundation for better companies and communities."

For more information about Diversity 50 and to view a full list of the initiative's co-presenting and platinum partners, visit boarddiversity.ca/diversity-50. Biographical summary and professional information for Diversity 50 candidates from 2016 and previous years are also available for review. CBDC member organizations can access detailed background information.

To select the Diversity 50 2016, the Council vetted the list through a process endorsed by 13 participating CEOs: CIBC President and CEO Victor G. Dodig and Deloitte Managing Partner and Chief Executive Frank Vettese, Co-Presenting Partners of Diversity 50; Coast Capital Savings President and CEO Don Coulter; Shell Canada, President and Canada Country Chair / VP Unconventionals North America Michael Crothers; Sun Life Financial Canada President Kevin Dougherty; TELUS President & CEO Darren Entwistle; Goldcorp President and CEO David Garofalo; Postmedia Network President and CEO Paul Godfrey; IAMGOLD President and CEO Steve Letwin; Teck Resources President and CEO Don Lindsay; FedEx Express Canada President Lisa Lisson; Norton Rose Fulbright Global Vice Chair and Chairman-Canada Norman Steinberg; and, Suncor Energy President and CEO Steve Williams.

About the Canadian Board Diversity Council

The Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) is the leading Canadian organization advancing diversity on Canada's boards, with mandate to increase representation of such considerations as gender, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community at the boardroom of Canada's 500 largest organizations. Founded in 2009, the Council has the support of Founding and Corporate Member organizations that are committed to greater diversity in the Canadian workplace.

Contact Information:

Sean Hemraj
Vice President, Business Development and Marketing
Canadian Board Diversity Council
416-361-1475 ext. 216